Why cats land on their feet : and 76 other physical paradoxes and puzzles
 Author/Creator
 Levi, Mark, 1951
 Language
 English.
 Imprint
 Princeton [N.J.] : Princeton University Press, c2012.
 Physical description
 x, 190 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
Access
Available online

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Q173 .L545 2012

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Q173 .L545 2012
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Contents/Summary
 Bibliography
 Includes bibliographical references (p. [187]188) and index.
 Contents

 Chapter 1 Fun with Physical Paradoxes, Puzzles, and Problems 1 1.1 Introduction 1 1.2 Background 3 1.3 Sources 3 Chapter 2 Outer Space Paradoxes 5 2.1 A Helium Balloon in a Space Shuttle 5 2.2 Space Navigation without Jets 9 2.3 A Paradox with a Comet 13 2.4 Speeding Up Causes a Slowdown 14 Chapter 3 Paradoxes with Spinning Water 17 3.1 A Puzzle with a Floating Cork 17 3.2 Parabolic Mirrors and Two Kitchen Puzzles 19 3.3 A Cold Parabolic Dish 21 3.4 Boating on a Slope 23 3.5 Navigating with No Engine or Sails 24 3.6 The Icebergs 25 Chapter 4 Floating and Diving Paradoxes 28 4.1 A Bathtub on Wheels 28 4.2 The Tub ProblemIn More Depth 30 4.3 How to Lose Weight in a Fraction of a Second 32 4.4 An Underwater Balloon 33 4.5 A Scuba Puzzle 35 4.6 A Weight Puzzle 36 Chapter 5 Flows and Jets 39 5.1 Bernoulli's Law and Water Guns 39 5.2 Sucking on a Straw and the Irreversibility of Time 42 5.3 Bernoulli's Law and Moving Around in a Space Shuttle 44 5.4 A Sprinker Puzzle 45 5.5 Ejecting Water Fast but with Zero Speed? 48 5.6 A Pouring Water Puzzle 49 5.7 A Stirring Paradox 51 5.8 An Inkjet Printer Question 54 5.9 A Vorticity Paradox 55 Chapter 6 Moving Experiences: Bikes, Gymnastics, Rockets 57 6.1 How Do Swings Work? 57 6.2 The Rising Energy Cost 58 6.3 A Gymnast Doing Giants and a Hamster in a Wheel 60 6.4 Controlling a Car on Ice 63 6.5 How Does a Biker Turn? 64 6.6 Speeding Up by Leaning 65 6.7 Can One Gain Speed on a Bike by Body Motion Only? 66 6.8 Gaining Weight on a Motorbike 68 6.9 Feeling the Square in mv2 2 Through the Bike Pedals 69 6.10 A Paradox with Rockets 70 6.11 A Coffee Rocket 72 6.12 Throwing a Ball from a Moving Car 74 Chapter 7 Paradoxes with the Coriolis Force 77 7.1 What Is the Coriolis Force? 77 7.2 Feeling Coriolis in a Boeing 747 79 7.3 Down the Drain with Coriolis 80 7.4 High Pressure and Good Weather 80 7.5 What Causes Trade Winds? 82 Chapter 8 Centrifugal Paradoxes 84 8.1 What's Cheaper: Flying West or East? 84 8.2 A Coriolis Paradox 85 8.3 An Amazing Inverted Pendulum: What Holds It Up? 87 8.4 Antigravity Molasses 91 8.5 The "Proof" That the Sling Cannot Work 92 8.6 A DavidGoliath Problem 93 8.7 Water in a Pipe 97 8.8 Which Tension Is Greater? 98 8.9 Slithering Ropes in Weightlessness 100 Chapter 9 Gyroscopic Paradoxes 104 9.1 How Does the Spinning Top Defy Gravity? 104 9.2 Gyroscopes in Bikes 108 9.3 A Rolling Coin 109 9.4 Staying on a Slippery Dome 111 9.5 Finding North with a Gyroscope 113 Chapter 10 Some Hot Stuff and Cool Things 117 10.1 Can Heat Pass from a Colder to a Hotter Object? 117 10.2 A Bike Pump and Molecular PingPong 121 10.3 A Bike Pump as a Heat Pump 122 10.4 Heating a Room in Winter 124 10.5 Freezing Things with a Bike Tire 125 Chapter 11 Two Perpetual Motion Machines 127 11.1 Perpetual Motion by Capillarity 128 11.2 An Elliptical Mirror Perpetuum Mobile 129 Chapter 12 Sailing and Gliding 132 12.1 Shooting Cherry Pits and Sailing 133 12.2 Sailing Straight into the Wind 135 12.3 Biking against the Wind 136 12.4 Soaring without Updrafts 138 12.5 Danger of the Horizontal Shear Wind 141 Chapter 13 The Flipping Cat and the Spinning Earth 142 13.1 How Do Cats Flip to Land on Their Feet? 142 13.2 Can Trade Winds Slow Earth's Rotation? 144 Chapter 14 Miscellaneous 146 14.1 How to Open a Wine Bottle with a Book 146 14.2 :"t's Alive!" 149 14.3 Falling Faster Than g: A Falling Chain "Sucked in" by the Floor 150 14.4 A Man in a Boat with Drag 151 14.5 A "Phantom" Boat: No Wake and No Drag 154 14.6 A ConstantG Roller Coaster 156 14.7 Shooting at a Cart 158 14.8 Computing 2 with a Shoe 159 Appendix 161 A.1 Newton's Laws 161 A.2 Kinetic Energy, Potential Energy, Work 163 A.2.1 Work 163 A.2.2 Kinetic Energy 165 A.2.3 Potential Energy 166 A.2.4 Conservation of Energy 168 A.3 Center of Mass 169 A.4 Linear Momentum 171 A.5 The Torque 174 A.6 Angular Momentum 175 A.7 Angular Velocity, Centripetal Acceleration 178 A.8 Centrifugal and Centripetal Forces 181 A.9 Coriolis, Centrifugal, and Complex Exponentials 181 A.10 The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus 184 Bibliography 187 Index 189.
 (source: Nielsen Book Data)
 Publisher's Summary
 Ever wonder why cats land on their feet? Or what holds a spinning top upright? Or whether it is possible to feel the Earth's rotation in an airplane? Why Cats Land on Their Feet is a compendium of paradoxes and puzzles that readers can solve using their own physical intuition. And the surprising answers to virtually all of these astonishing paradoxes can be arrived at with no formal knowledge of physics. Mark Levi introduces each physical problem, sometimes gives a hint or two, and then fully explains the solution. Here readers can test their criticalthinking skills against a whole assortment of puzzles and paradoxes involving floating and diving, sailing and gliding, gymnastics, bike riding, outer space, throwing a ball from a moving car, centrifugal force, gyroscopic motion, and, of course, falling cats. Want to figure out how to open a wine bottle with a book? Or how to compute the square root of a number using a tennis shoe and a watch? Why Cats Land on Their Feet shows you how, and all that's required is a familiarity with basic highschool mathematics. This lively collection also features an appendix that explains all physical concepts used in the book, from Newton's laws to the fundamental theorem of calculus.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
Subjects
 Subject
 Science > Miscellanea.
Bibliographic information
 Publication date
 2012
 Responsibility
 Mark Levi.
 ISBN
 9780691148540
 0691148546